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Do you need your own shop (e.g., for a soup kitchen) or commercial space (e.g., for a copy shop) or a room (e.g., for a yoga studio) for your business idea?

Your task for today:

Look around for suitable premises to get a feel for the prices and put together the requirements you have for the property. In this way, you’ll prepare what you need and what you’ll have to pay for when your business is established later.

During this process, look for ways to realize your idea at a much lower cost. That will help minimize your costs, long-term obligations, and, thus, your risk for the time being. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you want to sell something in a shop, you can try renting a small corner in an existing shop For example, the same space can house a flower shop with a small CD shop and a vegan soup kitchen. Elsewhere, there is a comic book shop together with a tattoo studio and a clothing store. This way, you save money, have company, and benefit from existing customers. Of course, the customer segments must fit together well.
  • If you need a professional kitchen to cook food for a delivery service, you can start by delivering only once a week and rent the kitchen from a cooking school.
  • If you need an office, maybe only temporarily at the beginning, you can first work in a co-working space. Here there are so-called “hot desks,” fixed workplaces (each per hour, day, week, or month), and separate offices (for weeks or months).
  • If you would like to offer courses (e.g., yoga, sewing classes, lessons), you can often rent a room at a reasonable price from non-profit associations or at premises in the city. Here too, you can benefit from the existing clientele. For sports activities, parks are also suitable in summer, where yoga classes are often offered.
  • If you need an address for your business idea that appears to the outside world as your office, you should first use a virtual office and continue to work from home to save fixed costs in the initial period. Here you’ll find providers who offer you virtual office addresses in various large cities. You can use an office purely as a postal address, and you’ll then receive the mail (from 99 euros/month). Or you can book the address as your official company headquarters and then, for example, add it to your website in the imprint (from $179/month).

Co-working Spaces

Co-working spaces are an ingenious invention of the 2010s. They can now be found in all medium-sized and large cities, often even a wide range of them. You can book a workplace in a co-working space by the hour, day, week, or month. There you’ll find an inspiring environment with all the services you could wish for in an office (Internet, printer, fax, telephone service, drinks, relaxation areas, etc.) You’ll also meet a lot of like-minded people, which not only motivates you and makes your work more enjoyable but often gives you a good network of potential partners, such as designers, programmers, marketing experts, etc. You can also rent meeting rooms or organize events where everything is taken care of. If you need an office for a longer period, you can also get your own room, which is already fully furnished. A significant advantage is that as you grow, you can often swap your office for a larger one without having to move address and phone number.

Here you can find an overview of the providers:

Some small suppliers often operate only one single co-working space. These can be nice and intimate. Larger providers that operate worldwide offer their spaces in other cities or countries. That makes you feel at home anywhere in the world and is especially interesting if you travel a lot for your business idea. Just look up the providers in your area on the Internet and visit them one after the other. Allow each one to make you an offer right away so that you can compare and negotiate later.

In Hong Kong, I asked two employees to look at the top 10 that we’d selected together on the Internet. They then showed me their three favorites, and we visited them together. That way, I made sure that the rooms I chose also appealed to my staff.